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Chocolate City Revisited: An Op/Ed by TexasFred

October 30th, 2007 . by TexasFred

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The view from Kinh Nguyen’s front door these days is nothing like the “abandoned cemetery” she saw upon returning to her New Orleans neighborhood two months after Hurricane Katrina.

Gone are the blue tarps and plywood boards that covered storm-damaged homes in Village de l’Est, a mostly Vietnamese-American neighborhood. Nguyen’s lawn, which turned dark brown after briny floodwaters killed her grass, is now a lush green. Streets once littered with storm debris are as clean and pothole-free as any in the city.

“They’re all back,” Nguyen, a 45-year-old mother of four, said of her neighbors. “Every home looks nicer, newer.”

Village de l’Est’s rebound has been a remarkable success story in this misery-stricken city. At the same time, for better or worse, the hurricane has brought profound political and cultural change to the community.

Amazing, simply amazing, the work that can be done, the stride that was taken, the initiative shown and the accomplishments these folks realized, in New Orleans of all places, a city that was inundated by Katrina, a city that for the most part, still sits in ruin, many sections a veritable ghost town.

But the Vietnamese community is clean, fresh, attractive and thriving, doesn’t that strike you as a wonderful picture of the Great American Success Story?? It does me and I tip my hat to those folks for their hard work and proud spirit.

Language and cultural barriers long kept Vietnamese-Americans on the sidelines of the city’s civic scene after they began flocking to New Orleans upon the fall of Saigon in 1975. Since Katrina, however, they have been emerging as a force in a city where politics is customarily viewed in black-and-white terms.

“In a short period of time, they’ve had a major impact in the community,” said Jefferson Parish Councilman John Young, who represents a New Orleans suburb with a significant Vietnamese population.

The Vietnamese can and do adapt to a new environment quite well, and in rapid fashion, they work in a fluid situation better than any group of people I have ever seen and I am guessing that they are going to become a force to be reckoned with in the New Orleans and Orleans parish government in the near future, and I have to say, I think that’s a wonderful emergence of community and dedication on their part.

An estimated 90 percent of the 25,000 Vietnamese-Americans who lived in southeastern Louisiana before Katrina had returned within two years of Katrina’s onslaught, according to community leaders. They were among the first to start rebuilding their homes and reopening their businesses, and their community is recovering much more rapidly than some other parts of New Orleans.

Like many of her neighbors, Kinh Nguyen didn’t wait for the government’s help to repair her home, a modest, ranch-style house. She moved her family back in in March 2006, about 18 months before she received a federal housing grant.

And now I have to ask the really big question, WHY in the HELL haven’t the CHOCOLATES in New Orleans done the same thing??

You’ll need to read the rest of this story to see for yourself what the Vietnamese people of New Orleans have done to help themselves and see how they did it, and in MY opinion, if they can do the job that they have done, with minimal federal help, without the BILLIONS that the CHOCOLATES believe that they are owed and entitled to, then anyone that WANTS TO can do the same thing, IF they have the initiative and motivation in them.

But the CHOCOLATES that inhabit New Orleans don’t have that drive and determination, the CHOCOLATES of New Orleans are professional welfare slugs, the CHOCOLATES of New Orleans wouldn’t throw a bucket of water if their house was on fire, but the CHOCOLATES of New Orleans will sit back and complain about how the federal government ignores them because they are CHOCOLATES, well, that’s not the truth of it, the feds have ignored New Orleans because of WHAT it is, corruption incarnate, and that corruption is not all because of New Orleans being a CHOCOLATE city.

New Orleans was corrupt long before any CHOCOLATE came to power, but if they didn’t help the Vietnamese rebuild and the Vietnamese were able to rebuild on their own, bigger and better in many cases, WHY can’t the CHOCOLATES in New Orleans get off of their lazy CHOCOLATE asses and do the same?

Anyone?? Bueller??

And for damn sure, the CHOCOLATES can’t say it’s because the Vietnamese are rich, white and Republican, it’s because the CHOCOLATES aren’t going to do anything other than be CHOCOLATES, that’s all they know how to be.

Full Story Here:
Vietnamese Rebound in New Orleans

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23 Responses to “Chocolate City Revisited: An Op/Ed by TexasFred”

  1. comment number 1 by: Robert

    The reason the Vietnam community can do it is:
    PRIDE vs Victim mentality, IMO, the Chocolate city dwellers have a lot of pride in their “hood” or their “Sect” but little pride in their community….

    It is much easier to be the victim than it is to actually affect a change.

  2. comment number 2 by: GUYK

    I reckon it is something about that four letter word, W O R K. Some folks just don’t like that word or anything that it represents except what they can get from the work of others..

  3. comment number 3 by: Miss Beth

    Fred, I’m going to use this when I get home, both articles if you don’t mind.

    In my city, we have a significant Asiatic population as well. One thing I have observed is this: The Asiatic peoples as a whole and in general may be dirt poor in some instances. That is a short-lived situation with them. The direct immigrants I’ve seen open a business as soon as they are able to get licenses. They will work themselves half to death to make a success of themselves, often immigrating one at a time–one earns enough money to immigrate another, those two save and immigrate a third, and on and on until the entire family is here. They work to set up businesses for each and every member of the family and work as a cohesive unit to make EACH business a success. They are almost obsessively clean, taking great pride in their homes, their persons and their businesses. They value education and the freedoms they achieve upon their immigration here and few, very few, are illegal–they do it all legally. Family is not just a word to them, it’s a lifestyle.

    They immerse themselves with gusto into their new lives, relying on each other for support rather than burdening the “system”.

    Of course, stereotypes abound about not just the Vietnamese, but about all Asiatics–bad drivers, oriental restaurants, herb shops, laundries, nail and beauty salons–but how much do they contribute back to the community–particularly with their children and the strides their children make in college and industry? They generally love beauty and beautiful things, from their yards to their art, music, dance and theater.

    Sometimes, I get a little “bent” at their somewhat brusque manner, but I think that’s more of a cultural thing than rudeness. When you consider where the majority of them have come from in the last 50 or so years and the regimes they’ve lived under prior to emigrating here, one can only admire their resilience and their absolutely indomitable will to succeed and overcome.

    Too bad the chocolates can’t learn from this part of the American landscape and the sheer vitality and sense of survival and indomitable will the Vietnamese and Asiatic peoples exhibit. New Orleans would be a much better place if the chocolates would LEARN instead of WHINE.

  4. comment number 4 by: jo

    Amazing. Kudo’s to them. I’m not surprised tho, unlike chocolates, they take pride in everything…including their work ethic.

  5. comment number 5 by: tomcats44d

    If you’ve ever been to Nam (67 – 70) you’d know why those people have their ‘can do’ attitude. The same is to be found all over the country among those who know that it’s their job to pull on the boots and get to work.

    If we continue to ‘give’ things to people – as the democrats want to do – then those people lose the ability to think for themselves. See how great the welfare programs of LBJ worked. It destroyed the black family in America.

    I alone am responsible for my wealth or my poverty. I alone must answer for my actions or inactions.

  6. comment number 6 by: James Shott

    I wrote a piece critical of the dependency attitude of New Orleans a while back and I was roundly slammed by one commenter who is a resident of NOLA. She told me that I really didn’t understand what was going on there.

    A couple of months later I had the occasion to visit NOLA and tour some of the city. I came away with a more tolerant attitude about the residents’ plight. The tour guide was a true victim of government bureaucratic bungling, and not a typical “victim.” He told us tales that would make the most ardent American wonder what the hell is going on there.

    Having said that, however, so much of the difficulties on New Orleans are indeed due to the victim mentality, and the dependence upon government to solve problems. When you put the dependence/victimhood aspects together with government screw-ups, you have a truly horrible situation.

    The lesson of the Vietnamese is that you plunge ahead without even considering government assistance. That is the attitude that built this great country: self-reliance and rugged individualism.

  7. comment number 7 by: BobF

    You’ve must have seen this parody of the Battle of New Orleans.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYtYU4YPaww

  8. comment number 8 by: Debbie

    It’s because of the Welfare State that some were born and raised into. They don’t know anything other than a government that takes care of them. They’ve never had personal responsibility.

  9. comment number 9 by: Joe

    Another great piece Fred.

    It all comes down to a few simple things, Integrity, Self-Reliance and Personal Responsibility. Until they attain those attributes, the “blame everyone else” crowd will never get anywhere.

  10. comment number 10 by: The World According To Carl

    Orleans Parish Eddie Jordan To Resign?…

    Breaking news from Newsradio 870 WWL:
    New Orleans District Attorney Eddie Jordan has called an afternoon staff meeting to address reports that he will resign amid mounting problems for his office.
    A spokesman says that closed door meeting will be at 1:…

  11. comment number 11 by: Carl

    BREAKING NEWS
    WWL (Newsradio 870 in New Orleans) is reporting that it looks like Orleans Parish Eddie Jordan is going to resign. Now if Ray Nagin and Warren Riley would resign as well.

  12. comment number 12 by: Carl

    BREAKING NEWS
    WWL (Newsradio 870 in New Orleans) is reporting that it looks like Orleans Parish Eddie Jordan is going to resign. Now if Ray Nagin and Warren Riley would resign as well.

  13. comment number 13 by: Carl

    I forgot to mention that I have the email alert posted on my blog at http://www.anniemayhem.com/cgi-bin/wordpress/?p=1190

  14. comment number 14 by: Deron

    Way to go Fred. As usual you have told it like it is. Why is it that WE as Americans (black and white, and any other nationality that lives here) have to go out and bust our asses to provide for the people who can and won’t strive to make a better life for themselves. I get angry everytime I see a low life driving a brand new vehicle or wearing top of the line clothes but, don’t work and collect a check from the gov’t. I have seen with my own two eyes, the peole that need can’t get but the people that don’t want more. A few years ago there was a Hurricane that went through my are of Louisiana and as many other National Guard Soldiers, I answered the call for help. As a Non Commissioned Officer, I was placed in charge of an area of great importance in times of disasters, the Social Security Office. My Soldiers and I were advised that we were supposed to ensure the safety of the SS Personnel. There were many people who came in that lost everything they had and lost the job they had because the business was destroyed and they were denied assistance because before the storm they made to much money. It was hard to sit there and listen to the stories of some of the people that lost everything and got nothing and to hear the ones that have never worked a day in their lives complain because they aren’t getting enough. On one particular day, there was a Chocolate man that drove up on a brand new Harley Davidson and made it a point to show off his new toy. When I asked if I could assist him, his response was “I’m here for my share”. After inquireing about his “Share”, he advised that he heard that he could get an increase on his Food Stamps if he could prove he lost his belongings in the storm. After several minutes of listening to his sob story, I asked him if he felt guilty for taking something he didn’t need and that others can’t get anything and have lost everything. His response was “that’s not my problem” and “I gotta provide for my family”. I did something that could have probably gotten me in alot of trouble, I advised him that he was a disgrace to this Country and that he needed to leave before he was unable to do so on his own. I then told him to sell his bike and all the “Leather Goods” that came with it and his family should be fine. I am not a racist person, (honestly I hate everyone equally with the acception of a certain religous organization that I hate more than anything in this world) but, I have to say that some people would rather recieve than to give and we are the ones that have to give it to them. As a Combat Veteran, I have seen what it is like to live with nothing, but some of the people in the many Third World Nations I have been to, have my respect more than some of the ones I have fought for. If one group can accomplish this why can’t others. It would be nice to see Al (Slim Shady) Sharpton and Jesse (I got game) Jackson come to the Chocolate City and hold their fellow Chocolateites accountable but, you will never see that because then there would be nothing to blame the White Man for. Sorry for taking so much of your time, but I felt like the stoy needed to be told. God Bless!

  15. comment number 15 by: Patrick Sperry

    Wow! Most excellent commentary here. Best that I have read here, on the Black Tygrrr, or even Michelle Malkin for quite a while.

    Here is the thing, as I see it. The Asians, are doing exactly what the hell the “Wops,” “Christ Killers,” and the “Drunkard Irish,” have been doing for quite some time in this place that we call America.

    This, is LIBERTY, it is FREEDOM, it is PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY, and RESPONSIBILITY, and a joining of very diverse groups for the betterment of any, and all…

    These peoples, like all peoples, do have their problems though. TOMCAT, I worked with the Hmong. They, could care less about what you think about the Vietnamese. Same goes for the Hmong.

    Both groups have what it takes to become what, in my opinion, is AMERICANS!

    Then again, my standards are high…

    Lima Company, Seventy-Fifth Infantry, One Hundred and First Airborne

    Oh, and a bit later, I served on the MIKE FORCE

  16. comment number 16 by: Longstreet

    I still say give NOLA back to France, along with several trillion US bucks to boot, and be done with it. We’ll have Baghdad up and running like a well oiled machine LONG before New Orleans.

    NOLA is a prime example of what Socialism can and will do!

    Best regards!

    Longstreet

  17. comment number 17 by: Jo (Cafe)

    Its never too late to learn how to work, or the pride the comes with it, but when you’ve had so many generations on the government tit – well let’s just say old dogs learn faster. Everyone — wanna see what is going to happen to America if one of the socialist running on that side win? Look at NOLA.

  18. comment number 18 by: Ranando

    If you think they cleaned up their area in New Orleans, you should see what they’ve done to their country. I was in Ho Chi Minh City (Siagon), Da Nang and Hanoi this year and I can tell you it is one of the most cleanest and beautiful counties I’ve ever been to and I’ve been to many.

    Crime is not allowed, you can walk the streets with no worries and the people are the Friendliest I’ve seen in some time. You might have a purse snatched once in awhile but if caught, they deal with it right there and then and I mean they deal with it.

    The Vietnamese have pride in themselves and that goes along way. Hell, most people have pride in themselves.

    Great post and comments Fred, nice job.

  19. comment number 19 by: Malinda777

    Fred…I feel you totally. I relate to you as a Texan, but it’s karmic to find you are actually from NOLA. I am a Texan that landed four years in Bay St. Louis, MS. Actually, BSL, and Waveland, MS were ground zero for Katrina. I was gone by then, but it struck me hard.

    I used to be in the casino industry, which led me to there. I saw first hand the corruption of LA. I saw that white men that managed to rise above the “raising of the south” to wealth and didn’t use it appropriately and used their power for evil. I saw the chocolate people in NOLA suck bottom because they could. I also saw wonderful people of color, black people in my part of Mississippi be as equal as you and I in life.

    I found it not so surprising that the leftist media concentrate on NOLA during Katrina when really there was so much more relevant news further down the coast. In 1992, I had an incident in NOLA that scared me to death. I almost met death by a chocolate person down by the aquarium and river ride not far from Canal St. Since I saw NOLA police regurlarly, I told my story. They told me, given the same situation again…just run over the bastard. The police would never find you guilty.

    NOLA is such a unique place. I was only there for four years, but I loved the southern spirit of the place. However, the chocolate people and the forcefulness of the homosexual community took it over. Not that I am a gay hater, I’m not. But when any group, forceful chocolates, or forceful fairies begin to unlevel the balance of the overall group it’s not good. The same way that I think forceful trailer trash or overbearing rednecks do some of us “normal” southerners bad.

    I think this was a really good piece you wrote. Although I read you a lot, comment little, ALWAYS VOTE at your poll blog…and think sometimes you go over the edge…it’s the edge we all need to get back to. I’m too careful, and have companies still to think of that I own…I wish sometimes I had the balls to say it like you do.

    I don’t know if you ever read or listen to Michael Savage, but you remind me of him. He’s radical, kinda like Rush, but both men have a lot of good to say…even though they keep the shit pot stirred.

    Keep stirring the shit pot brother…somebody’s got to :)

  20. comment number 20 by: CavMom

    We have all heard the words of the Declaration of Independence: “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (I read somewhere that the original writings used the term ‘estate’ in place of happiness)

    These are our unalienable rights, to PERSUE, not to be handed to us while we sit on our asses and play video games.

    You are given life; you are free; Now get off your lazy asses and make something of yourselves. That goes across the board – all race inclusive.

    Another issue that is burning me up is the Government bail out for those who took out risky “subprime” loans. Dammit… I work hard, but I am tired of my tax money bailing out those who make bad decissions.

    I bought an SUV that gets terrible gas mileage and I think the Government should subsidize my poor decission and give me money, heck make it a weekly allowance to fuel up my truck. Or, perhaps they should buy my SUV and give me an economy car ~ On tax payers money of course.

    Seriously, welfare should never be granted long term with the exception of physically and mentally handicapped.

    I work too darn hard to be buying groceries for the lazy. Grrrrrrrrr

  21. comment number 21 by: TexasFred

    Malinda, you know, I take that Micheal Savage thing as a hell of a compliment, a while back a terribly hypocritical bitch called Little Miss Chatterbox, some of us call her Little Miss CATbox, well, anyway, she said, “That TexasFred thinks he’s the Michael Savage of the internet or something!!”

    Well, she meant it as an insult but to me it wasn’t and I was nice enough to respond to her by telling her, that was the nicest thing she had ever said to me, and I thanked her sincerely…

    I still laugh my ass off over that one, when someone hurls insults and those insults blow up in their face, well, it’s a lovely day in the neighborhood… :)

  22. comment number 22 by: Jenn

    LOL… way to tell it like it is Fred.

    Dave and I interviewed a Amer-Asian girl from Vietnam. She was the daughter of a soldier who fought there during the war. She faced hardships and rascism at home….when she was 18 she came here, went to school, got a job and is now a social worker and writer. Married, happy and successful.

    She, unlike many, was thankful for the opportunites afforded her here and took advantage of any she could get to better herself and her situation.

  23. comment number 23 by: Bloviating Zeppelin

    Vietnamese = work ethic.

    Chocolates = no work ethic, trained so very well by Government.

    BZ